José Mourinho was red for a late wild outburst as AS Roma looked destined for a home loss against Torino in Serie A on Sunday. Drama at its finest, however, unfolded on the pitch after Mourinho’s dismissal, with the hosts missing a penalty before equalizing five minutes into stoppage time.
Roma came out strong in the last Serie A match before the World Cup break through a brilliant seven-minute finish against Torino at the Stadio Olimpico. Karol Linetty dismissed the visitors early in the second half before tensions got the better of Mourinho, who was sent into the stands over his furious reactions to the referee’s decisions in the 88th minute.
Mourinho, with characteristic gall, sacked the referee as he came off the bench after receiving his last dismissal for an irregular disciplinary record since returning to Italy. The drama continued after the fourth official went five minutes into added time when Andrea Belotti missed a penalty against his former club.
Then, in the 94th minute, Paulo Dybala hit the crossbar with a curling effort before Nemanja Matic fired on the rebound to send Roma into ecstasy. The former Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder did not prevent Mourinho’s blushes, but Roma are now winless in three games and are 14 points behind Serie A leaders Napoli.
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Mourinho is a hero among Roma fans after guiding the club to last season’s first Europa Conference League victory. And he is also hugely popular with his players, particularly Tammy Abraham, whom he has helped to reach a new level since he joined from Chelsea in 2021.
England manager Gareth Southgate dropped Abraham from his 2022 World Cup squad on Thursday and brought Callum Wilson to Qatar. In response, Mourinho criticized Southgate’s ‘childish’ reasoning and told his star striker to represent Nigeria over the Three Lions.
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He said: “Gareth Southgate says that Tammy Abraham had a bad way of scoring goals at the wrong time? … What a childish excuse … Because Phillips played only 56 minutes and was selected. If I’m Tammy, I’m going straight to the FIFA to file a complaint that my international career has been sabotaged by another country; therefore, I need clearance to go and represent my rightful country, which is Nigeria. That’s my suggestion to him. Hate me. You already do.” .
Roma will not be in competitive action again in 2022, with their second leg at home against Bologna on January 1. Mourinho’s team will then travel to Serie A champions AC Milan four days later.
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